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Recap / Littlest Pet Shop 2012 S 3 E 23 Sue Syndrome

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"Everyone's gonna be looking at me, just like you guys! I can't do this!"

Written by Tom Minton
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Sue, having set a new school record for every track-and-field event, is handed a special medal by Principal Morris and will be given a trophy in the gymnasium. However, Sue suddenly becomes nervous when Morris tells her that she'll be giving an acceptance speech in front of the other students, to where she hands the medal back to Morris, says that she might not be the right person for the task, and runs off, leaving Blythe, Youngmee, and Jasper, who had been watching, in utter confusion.

Back at the Littlest Pet Shop, Blythe discusses with Youngmee and Jasper about if they've been able to get into contact with Sue, but all of them say no. As they wrap up, Mrs. Twombly asks Blythe to bring the pet visitor, in a pet carrier, to the day camp.

At the day camp, Pepper is showing off her new idea for a comedy routine called "Laugh and Sniff." After telling a joke about eggs, she releases a noxious stench that Vinnie describes as being like rotten eggs, though Pepper intended for it to smell like hard-boiled eggs. As the scent clears away, to the relief of the other pets, Blythe comes into the room and introduces the guest pet, Mitzi, another skunk. Mitzi introduces herself and releases a pleasant aroma, which all of the other pets love, showering Mitzi with praise. Meanwhile, Pepper sits on the stage by herself, watching Mitzi become the center of attention.

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At the school, Blythe discusses with her friends about Sue's disappearance when Sue comes in to get to her locker, wearing a baseball cap, sunglasses, and a fake mustache. Sue tells them that she's only here to take the English test, and when Youngmee asks, she's wearing the disguise to avoid Principal Morris. Jasper, however, calls her out on her disguise, that it's ineffective and that it won't stop her from having to make the speech. Jasper removing Sue's disguise only causes Sue to run away again.

Back in the day camp, Minka, Zoe, and Penny follow Mitzi around smelling her scent, which she says is her signature small and induces deliriousness. Minka asks if she can make custom scents, and Mitzi tells her that she can make any specific pleasant smell upon request. To that end, Zoe asks for the smell of a field of lilacs, with Minka dding in orchids and Penny adding in jasmine. Mitzi releases the custom scent with ease, and Zoe, Minka, and Penny imagine themselves frolicking in a large meadow of flowers. After seeing Zoe, Minka, and Penny in sheer joy, she says that she's glad to make them happy but wants some rest. However, Vinnie, Sunil, and Russell come up to Mitzi and request beach themed scents: Russell wants the smell of salt water, Sunil wants the smell of a veggie dog, and Vinnie wants the smell of the Sun. Although Russell points out that he can't smell the Sun, Mitzi says not to worry about it and concocts another custom scent, which gets the boys thinking about a leasurely day at the beach where Sunil gets launched into the air by party-goers, gets his veggie dog stolen by a gull, and lands on Russell buried in the sand, misshaping his sand sculpture of a muscular body into an obese one. When Russell asks where Vinnie is, he spots Vinnie in the ocean, surfing on a huge wave on a seal exclaiming about how he can smell the hot sun. The six pets are on the floor laughing loudly with a proud Mitzi in the middle, but she becomes concerned when she sees Pepper is now frustrated and walks away moping.

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As Sue walks through the school's hallways, Jasper yanks her arm from within a classroom and pulls her in. Sue demands to be let go, but Blythe demands to know what's going on. Cornered, Sue admits that she has glossophobia, a fear of public speaking, so much so that her voice's pitch goes way up if she has to speak to a crowd. To that end, she puts her sunglasses back on and walks off to go tell the principal to give the award to somebody else. She changes her mind, however, when Blythe runs over and, along with Youngmee and Jasper, offers to help.

Meanwhile, Mitzi has remained the talk among all of the other pets except Pepper, who has walked onto the stage. She tries to get their attention with a joke about fresh carrots, but all it does is give Zoe an idea to request fresh scents from Mitzi, which infuriates Pepper. Seeing all of the other pets ignore Pepper and walk back to Mitzi, Pepper releases a cloud of stink, aiming them at the other pets as revenge. Unable to stand the smell for long, the other pets turn to Mitzi to neutralize the odor, which she does in an instant, providing relief. Feeling utterly dejected, Pepper sulks off the stage.

During their hour dedicated to lunch, Sue practices her speech with Blythe, Youngmee, and Jasper as her audience. Within a few seconds of reading her index card, her voice goes up to a squeak and she is unable to read off the index card, distracted by how Blythe, Youngmee, and Jasper are looking at her. After she shatters Jasper's glass, she runs away in terror. Without anything to build on, Blythe and Youngmee are left speechless with Jasper saying that they know it's for real now.

At the day camp, Pepper is reduced to telling jokes to a doll. When she's done telling the joke, the doll loses an eye and falls over on its cushion, and Pepper gives up and puts her head down in shame. Mitzi watches Pepper, feeling bad for her, but before she can do anything, the other pets run back up to Mitzi, begging and pleading for more of her pleasant scents. No longer saying anything, Mitzi creates a Georgia peach scent and throws it into a corner, with the other pets scampering over and breathing it in, shuddering in sheer pleasure. With Pepper looking over having nothing else to do anymore, she declares Mitzi as a disgrace to skunks.

Sue stares in disappointment out the window, but Blythe tries to help her by providing her with a trick from her father Roger where Blythe imagined Mona Autumn in a moose costume. Blythe suggests clowns with Youngmee asking to try it out, looking out the window. This does not work as well as hoped, as Sue then tells Blythe that she finds clowns terrifying too.

Pepper watches as the other pets seem to be in bliss, surrounded by a rainbow-colored scent cloud. She grumbles as she walks away, only to almost bump into Mitzi. Mitzi tells Pepper about how she actually envies Pepper, as Mitzi quickly becomes pigeonholed into repeatedly giving off nice smells, with no time to do anything else. Mitzi and Pepper go into a song sequence, "A Skunk Is a Skunk," where she tells Pepper that she doesn't even consider herself a "real skunk" and wishes she could express herself freely the way Pepper can. They leave the musical number with the other pets chanting for more of Mitzi's aromas. Pepper tells Mitzi that she should be more honest about how she feels, but Mitzi says that Pepper doesn't know the full story before dashing off as the other pets are becoming antsy.

In the school library, Blythe finds Sue at the library. Blythe hands Sue a recording of her saying the speech and recommends Sue to just repeat exactly what Blythe says, pretending it's Blythe saying it to get her mind off the audience. This time Sue feels like it can work, with Blythe hoping it does.

The other pets, still crowded around Mitzi, start suggesting colors as smells. By now, Mitzi has almost completely run out of energy, and while she gives it a try, the twirling she had previously done is now labored, and she is able to only emit a tiny wisp from her tail. Pepper, on the other hand, releases a large stench, again aimed at the other pets, this time to get them to listen to Pepper. Pepper yells at them to give Mitzi a break, and shows that she's collapsed on the floor, drained. Seeing what they've done to Mitzi, the other pets walk away in shame. With the two to themselves, Pepper asks if Mitzi has ever released an unpleasant scent or felt any emotions besides happy before. Mitzi says that she's never tried but, thanks to Pepper, she will try to act like how she naturally feels. With that in mind, Pepper whispers a plan into Mitzi's ear.

With the audience gathered in the gym for Sue's acceptance speech, she tells Blythe she's ready to give the speech and asks Jasper and Youngmee for a sample. Unfortunately, Sue falls apart once again right when the principal declares the beginning of the assembly and runs off.

Pepper and Mitzi finish going over the plan when Zoe and the others request, once again, for color smells, referring to Pepper's intervention as a rude interruption. Mitzi briefly gladly accepts the request when Pepper steers her back on course, and Mitzi turns down Zoe's request for a chartreuse smell. Mitzi plops down onto the floor, declares she's taking a break, and emits a heavy green smell. Zoe eagerly breathes it in, as do the others, only to realize it's a terrible stench as Mitzi looks over, in awe that she is finally genuinely happy.

As the principal announces what will happen in the assembly, Jasper and Youngmee sit in the audience, with Jasper wondering how Blythe is doing coercing Sue to come make the speech. Blythe, meanwhile, finds Sue slumped over against a locker. Blythe asks when Sue is at her most comfortable, and Sue says that when she runs, she feels unbeatable. With that in mind, Blythe takes Sue over, as she has an idea.

Russell comes over to Mitzi to apologize on behalf of himself and the other pets, saying that her smells were making them so happy that they didn't think they were making Mitzi unhappy in the process. Mitzi tells Russell that he couldn't have known, as Mitzi herself didn't know how she truly felt, which makes her feel sad. As she says it, she emits a brown cloud of noxious gas and is glad to see it. Pepper compliments her on "broadening" her "repertoire," and Mitzi, happy that she now knows what it's like to be a skunk, gives off the smell of a rose garden and asks if it's not too sweet. Pepper says it's just fine, then adds in her own peppermint smell. With the other pets exercising restraint, Russell tells Mitzi that she's welcome to come back any time, and they promise not to abuse her scent emissions and tire her out.

In the auditorium, Principal Morris announces the arrival of Sue Patterson. They look to the auditorium door, which remains closed. After a few moments, the doors open, and Sue comes in, running on a treadmill on a hand cart Blythe pushes into the room. Feeling on top of the world, Sue delivers her speech effortlessly and without a hitch. Impressed, Morris comes over jogging and hands Sue the trophy.

With the day over, Pepper recounts to Blythe about how she was able to help Mitzi unbottle herself, then asks Blythe how her day was. Blythe tells Pepper that she, too, helped a friend and that nothing feels better than to do so. With Pepper feeling good, she releases a rainbow-colored waft.

This episode contains examples of (YMMV entries go here):

  • The Ace: How Pepper initially sees Mitzi, who is much better at commanding attention from the other pets, has far more control over the smells she gives off, and is seemingly rather smug about it all. The truth is more complicated: See Broken Ace below.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Mitzi is a pink skunk.
  • Badass Boast: When Mitzi is asked to simulate the smell of a field of lilacs, orchids, and jasmine together, Mitzi then says that she was afraid they'd actually ask for something difficult.
  • Beauty Mark: Mitzi has one below her right eye.
  • Be Yourself: Pepper advises Mitzi to express how she truly feels, rather than bottle up any negative thoughts within her.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Youngmee and Jasper say "What the huh?" with Blythe at the end of the Cold Open.
  • Broken Ace: Mitzi is actually rather unhappy on the inside, as the scents she produces causes others to become dependent on her, and her need to please and sheer politeness drives her to exhaustion and deprives her of any time for herself. Pepper warms up to Mitzi when she finds this out.
  • Call-Back: Sue found herself to be good at track-and-field events in "Russell Up Some Fun." This episode shows that she has since become the best at her school.
    • Blythe imagined Mona Autumn in a moose costume in "Some Assistance Required" and asks Sue to try it. Blythe is not entirely truthful, however—while she did imagine Mona in a moose costume, Mona was just as scary to Blythe, and she continued fearing Mona well into Act 3.
  • Continuity Nod: Sue is shown to have problems with doing something in front of an audience, which Sunil, Blythe, Russell, and one-shot character Basil have had to deal with.
    • Mitzi had previously helped the mother duck and her three ducklings Dodger and Twist gave a toy boat to in "Hamster Hoods," as well as Desi from "The Big, Feathered Parade," Mary Frances from "Russell Up Some Fun," and the moose from the imaginary Pet Jet in "Blythe's Big Idea."
  • Creepy Circus Music: Played when Sue imagines everyone as clowns, as she's afraid of them.
  • A Day in the Limelight: This is a Sue episode, a character who hadn't been the focus of a story since "Russell Up Some Fun" in the first season (though she did play an important part in "Why Can't We Be Friends?"). This is also the first time Sue gets the A-story.
  • Editorial Synaesthesia: Since this episode's B-story is about skunks and scents, they must be depicted through colors, animations, and metaphors. The latter gets overlap with Imagine Spots (see below).
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: Penny exhibits these in Act 3 due to her having been hooked on Mitzi's smells. Mitzi also has these, as she has exhausted herself.
  • Extreme Doormat: Mitzi, in a way, though not out of shyness but because she is extremely polite.
  • Fartillery: In Act 2, Pepper has become so mad that she attacks the other pets with her foul odor. She does it again in Act 3, this time in Mitzi's defense.
  • Funny Background Event: As Penny Ling voices her reservations about Pepper's Laugh and Sniff routine, Minka can be seen about to puke, then swallowing it.
  • Glass-Shattering Sound: Sue getting really nervous causes her voice to go up so high, it breaks Jasper's glass.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Pepper quickly grows envious of Mitzi and her ability to not only control exactly what kind of scent she produces, but her ability to charm all of the other pets instantly. Secretly, Mitzi actually envies Pepper, as Pepper has free time and is treated as normal.
  • Hypocrite: In the Cold Open, Jasper talks about how Sue doesn't have enough energy to outrun her competitors, but when Sue wins, he says that he "never doubted her for a second."
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Cocaine: Mitzi's aromas are shown to be highly addictive, having hooked all of the Littlest Pet Shop regulars except Pepper, who had been avoiding Mitzi, within hours. She even describes her signature scent as making those who smell it "delirious." By the end of the day, these six pets have become incredibly dependent on Mitzi and require smelling her aromas every few minutes to not go completely mad.
    Zoe (to Mitzi): I'm starting to feel a little less happy than I was earlier.
    Vinnie (to Mitzi, desperate): Yeah! Come on...! Do another one, Mitzi!
    Sunil (to Mitzi, desperate): Pleeaase! Your scents make us so very happy, and WE LOVE BEING HAPPY!!!
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Flowers come falling down in Act 1.
    • A clown hops across the screen in Act 2. The fire hydrant in the corner becomes a wipe to lead into "A Skunk Is a Skunk."
    • During the song itself, one of Mitzi's sweet scents wafts from the lower-left to upper-right. Later, one of Pepper's foul scents does the same from the upper-left to lower-right. Twice, a yellow one, towards the end (presumably Mitzi's and Pepper's combined) emanates from the center of the screen.
  • Imagine Spot: One of Mitzi's scents in Act 1 mentally takes Zoe, Minka, and Penny to the Alps. Another one almost immediately follows with Sunil, Vinnie, and Russell at the beach.
    • There is a third one in Act 2 where the pets hang around in a surreal land of things associated with pleasant smells, including a floating rearview mirror with a pine tree air freshener attached to it.
  • Inherently Funny Words: At least, Jasper seems to think that "glossophobia" is one. Blythe and Youngmee, not so much, calling Jasper out for his insensitiveness.
  • Jerkass Ball: Russell, Sunil, Vinnie, Penny, Zoe, and Minka are normally not as insensitive and callous about guest pets as they are to Mitzi. However, Mitzi does describe her scents as making others "delirious," suggesting they're not thinking straight.
  • Jump Scare: The last clown in Sue's attempt at imagining everyone as clowns has one of them leaping right up at the window.
  • Just for Pun: Pepper releases the smell of peppermint near the end of the episode.
  • Lens Flare: During a low-angle shot in "A Skunk Is a Skunk."
  • Monster Clown: Unfortunately, because Sue is coulrophobic in addiiton to glossophobic, Blythe's suggestion to imagine everyone as clowns backfires as she sees a world full of Monster Clowns.
  • Overly Nervous Flop Sweat: Sue when trying to recite her speech in front of her friends in the cafeteria.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Sue wears a hat, sunglasses, and a mustache to school as her disguise and nothing else. Jasper points out that it won't serve any purpose.
  • Performance Anxiety: Sue has large amounts of trouble and fear speaking in front of an audience. She is the fifth character in the series to have this issue, though her predecessors have different versions—whereas Sunil is afraid of performing in a way that isn't scripted, Blythe specifically could not stand cameras, Russell gets worried if he'll look okay, and Basil was a nervous wreck all-around, Sue has problems with live audiences.
  • Power Incontinence: Until the end of the episode, Mitzi is unable to release anything foul-smelling, due to her total repression of any negative emotions. This causes a lot of unwanted attention and exhaustion trying to be polite on her part.
  • Recurring Extra: Most of the rest of the audience comprises of students already seen in crowd shots at the school, with two of the magenta-haired girl in the pink sweatshirt. The jocks in "Bakers & Fakers" can be seen in the middle of the second row from the top on the bleachers during Sue's race. One of the goth kids from that episode is sitting on the far left on one of the middle rows. The allegedly "smart kids" are also visible. Much of the audience returns to hear Sue's acceptance speech, though it's larger and now includes teachers like Mrs. Mondt too.
  • Sanity Slippage: To every Littlest Pet Shop regular except Pepper due to Mitzi's addictive scents.
  • Scare Chord: When the clown leaps up right at the window.
  • Shout-Out: The sound effect from The Six Million Dollar Man plays when Sue speeds up during the race. This sound effect was previously heard in "The Sister Story."
    • About midway through Act 1, Mitzi is shown hopping like Pepe le Pew. Considering Pepper has hopped like this twice prior (with Russell joining in once), it may be a trait of skunks in this show's universe.
  • Smelly Skunk: Inverted. Mitzi is a skunk who can only release pleasant scents.
  • Snap Back: Pepper's prop chest, which Basil meticulously reorganized for efficiency in "Proud as a...Peacock?," has become messy again.
  • Southern Belle: Mitzi's accent and mannerisms are based on this archetype.
  • Taking Advantage of Generosity: The regular pets, sans Pepper, exploit Mitzi until she becomes completely drained. This is unintentional though.
  • That Makes Me Feel Angry: At the end, Mitzi, now in touch with her real emotions, gives mention of how it makes her sad that she didn't realize it until then. This trope is necessary, however, because as soon as she says "sad," she releases a brown puff of odor.
  • Throwing the Distraction: Later into the episode, Mitzi starts throwing her scent clouds away from the center of the room, presumably to get the other pets to go away at least temporarily.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Once Pepper and Mitzi start getting along, Pepper takes the role of the tomboy to Mitzi's girly-girl.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: This episode has an A-story and a B-story that never intersect.

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